Thousands of workers and people in British Columbia will get the opportunity to enter the clean economy and learn electric vehicle (EV) automotive trades at a new innovative centre at Vancouver Community College (VCC) following a significant investment from the Province.
“As our clean economy grows and British Columbians embrace electric cars faster than any other province in Canada, we must invest in the training people need to pursue in-demand careers,” said Premier David Eby. “The new centre at Vancouver Community College will make sure thousands of students have the skills to get good-paying jobs and employers can find the talented people they need to help grow and drive our clean economy forward.”
The Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation will provide education and skills training for people in British Columbia and Red-Seal-certified apprentices of modern automotive trades to support our growing green economy, including electric, hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in and autonomous vehicles. The new state-of-the-art training facility will accommodate as many as 1,400 students each year with new programs in clean-energy technology, light rail and zero-emissions vehicle repair and technology.
The number of registered light-duty EVs in B.C. has increased from 5,000 in 2016 to more than 100,000 today. The new centre will help train skilled trades workers to keep up with demand as the Province moves to make 100% of all vehicles sold in B.C. zero-emission vehicles.
“Skilled trades workers are in high demand and are critical to ensuring the economy remains strong and we build a sustainable and inclusive economy that leaves no one behind,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “As we work to fill more than one million jobs over the next decade, the Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation is a big, responsive step in equipping British Columbians with the knowledge and skills they need today to succeed in the high-paying, in-demand jobs of tomorrow’s economy and labour market.”
The Province is providing $271.3 million toward the new centre. The total capital cost of the project will be $291.3 million. The concrete eight-storey building will include exposed mass timber in the atrium and is expected to create 1,407 direct and 672 indirect jobs during construction.
“This funding unlocks the potential for VCC to better serve our students, faculty and staff as well as the surrounding community with clean-energy programming, future attainable housing and civic amenities, new academic and collaborative design spaces, and purpose-built Indigenous gathering spaces,” said Ajay Patel, president and CEO, Vancouver Community College. “VCC’s new Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation will be a catalyst for not only the revitalization of our campuses, but the transformation of Broadway and the Great Northern Way corridor. It is a great day for VCC."
B.C. is expecting one million job openings over the next decade, nearly 80% of which will require post-secondary education and skills training. Investing in the new Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation aligns with the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan and helps build a clean and inclusive economy for everyone. The action plan is supported by a provincial investment of $480 million over three years.
- The Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation will align with the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, which aims to increase the number of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales and leases by 26% of all new, light-duty vehicles by 2026; 90% by 2030; and 100% by 2035.
- The centre is expected to be complete by 2027, with classes to start in the fall.
For information about the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-training
To learn more about Vancouver Community College (VCC), go to: https://www.vcc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.